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Help! I See Black People Everywhere!

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

     There was a recent report regarding the January 6 attempted coup at the Capitol in which it was noted that the majority of the “attendees” and rioters were from parts of the county in which White voters are quite anxious about Black and Brown people making progress at their expense.

     Such angst should come at no surprise to anyone who has studied American History in which it has demonstrated that whenever people of color made any meaningful economic or political progress, there is, “Trouble in de land!”

Lafe Tolliver, Esq

     A case in point was when back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, in Alabama (among other Southern states) when poor Black and White sharecroppers were being organized to fight against the regional fat cats who held them down, the powers that be, campaigned on racial themes to divide them against each other…and it worked.

     The astute Southern Planter and racist politicos knew from experience that if you can convince a poor White sharecropper or farmer that the same poor Black farmer or sharecropper is not your friend but your competitor, race wins out every time.

     Sow the seeds of disharmony based upon skin color and the poor White bolts for the door and the safety of the lie that his equally poor Black farmer is not his friend.

     Appeals to race as opposed to one’s better economic interests (in spite of race) was tragically lost upon the poor White farmer or sharecropper.

      The race baiters whispered to the poor White farmer that his best bet was to align his hopes and upward mobility with White folks and to leave those Black folks alone because they were troublemakers or at worse, socialists or communists!

     Although the rich land barons were not making life easier for the poor White farmer or White sharecropper, that person was pummeled with messages that said if you race mingle or throw your lot into the mix with poor Black folks, you will be marginalized and will sink to their depths.

     It worked and any budding Black and White farm alliances were doomed.

     Once you sow the animus of race with certain economically challenged White voters and they are fed a constant diet that they are not making any upward economic progress, they will vote their racial self-interests and not the vote of collective racial upward mobility.

     Once you put out a message of grievance that the “American Pie” is shrinking and there is not enough to go around for all, the tricked poor or middle-class White voter will get edgy if he or she believes that they are being left behind; and all the economic goodies and perks are being shoveled into wheelbarrows and are delivered to those “others.”

    The same can be said of the economic background of many of the Capitol Hill rioters who came to upend a duly constituted election based on the outrageous lie by Donald Trump that the election was stolen from him and in turn, stolen from his base of support.

     Donald Trump was notorious and crass in his spouting of racial dog whistles to his base and the loudest whistle was when Herr Trump tried to convince certain key states with critical minority voting concentrations that “those” people were the cause of they being cheated out of he being re-elected.

     So, what does a race monger do? Simple. You call for your mis-treated base to act and march on the Capitol and stop the farce of an election that you claim was stolen.

     Of course, there was no credible evidence of any such theft, but why would anyone let facts interfere with a noble cause?

     When those insurrectionists stormed the gates of democracy, they were both Trump supporters and a wide variety of right wing supremacist’s groups, hell-bent on Making America Great Again.

     Like the poor White farmer who is repeatedly told that his lot in life is being diminished by Black and Brown people, the rioters were told by right wing media that “others” were engaged in chicanery that resulted in their loss of status in life.

    Remember, Black Capitol policemen somberly retold stories of being called the “N” word by these White terrorists. These rioters took out their racial vitriol and fears on Black law enforcement officers.

    These Black police officers were a convenient and close up reminder that “they” were the chief cause of the rioter’s complaints and that was the reason they were storming the Capitol for their dear leader, Herr Trump.

    The Capitol Insurrection was fomented by a demagogic liar who, without conscience, fed his base the slop that minority people were not their friends, and they should stick with Herr Trump and his racially divisive messaging.

    Yet, and get this, over 72 million Americans wanted four more years of Herr Trump and his base calling the shots.

Divided by race, again. De ja Vue, all over again.


Contact Lafe Tolliver at tolliver@juno.com



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/15/21 10:37:40 -0400.

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